Staats- und Domchor Berlin

sdc-in-predigtkirche.jpg Spacer.gifThe Staats- und Domchor Berlin is the boys’ choir of the Cathedral of Berlin. It is one of the most renowned choirs in Germany and the oldest musical institution of Berlin. As early as 1465, Frederick II of Hohenzollern hired five “singing boys” for the music in the “Dhumkerke” (the “Domkirche”, or “Cathedral church”). About a hundred years later, the founding of a court orchestra directed by Johannes Eccard led to the first heyday of the choir, which was then comprised of twelve singers. The choir first gained international attention in the 19th century under the direction of Felix Medelssohn Bartholdy, Otto Nicolai, and Heinrich August Neidhardt. After the end of the First World War, the court choir, which had become very successful over time, lost its political standing with the imperial rule. It was renamed “Staats- und Domchor Berlin” and became affiliated with the College of the Arts. The choir’s situation after the Second World War reflected Berlin’s isolation during the Cold War. Through the division of the city, the choir lost its actual domain, since it – having belonged to the College of the Arts – had been rehearsing in the western sector of Berlin for years. Now the singers had to switch to other churches in the city, and at the same time, international concert tours made them into ambassadors for divided Germany. Today, the Staats- und Domchor is part of the Berlin University of the Arts. It has been singing in the Cathedral of Berlin again since 1993. Concert tours have brought the choir to other European countries, the USA, Japan, Russia, and Israel. In addition to numerous other prizes - from the German Choir Competition, among others - the choir was awarded the European Youth Choir Culture prize in 2002. Ensemble members enrich Berlin’s musical life through performances in opera house productions and participation in concerts in Berlin’s Philharmonic Hall.



Choir Conductor

jirka.jpg Since 2002, Kai-Uwe Jirka has been professor of choir conducting at the University of the Arts and conductor of the Staats- und Domchor. He completed his studies of Church Music, Orchestra Conducting, and German Studies at the Hanover College of Music and Theater.

From 1999 until 2001, he was choir director at the Lower Saxony State Opera, where he made his debut as opera conductor. Since then, he has worked with such ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic Choir and the Rundfunkchor Berlin, with such orchestras as the Lower Saxony State Orchestra and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, and he has rehearsed choirs for such conductors as Kent Nagano and Sir Simon Rattle. Furthermore, he is musical director of the Sing-Akademie of Berlin and co-founder of the “Benevoli” network for young talent.


Beautiful vioces shall sing ...

sdc-chorprobe.jpg Spacer.gif.....and so that it also sounds good, we support talented boys with free elementary musical education. In individual and group lessons, selected teachers from the University of the Arts educate future concert singers. For that reason, the white shirts are only taken out for official occasions.

While the boys in our young talent groups gain their first experiences in small performances, advanced singers sing regularly in concerts and religious services, on the radio and on television. Twice a year, the Staats- und Domchor invites boys between six and eight years old to audition. The children sing a song and their voices and listening abilities are tested. It is only necessary to be able to repeat pitches and simple melodies. Previous experience is not required!

For further information on the scheduling and nature of the entrance examination, please call +49 (0)30 3185 2357 or visit the homepage of the Staats- und Domchor.

Staats- und Domchor of the Berlin

University of the Arts
Bundesallee 1-12
10719 Berlin-Wilmersdorf


Tel +49 (0)30 3185 2357 / 2195
Fax +49 (0)30 3185 2728